In the last installment, we offered a general overview of OU's latest recruiting news and took a look at some offensive prospects. Let's turn to the defense and finish with a class prediction.
2018 players to watch: Defense
OU already has a commitment from Jordan Kelley, but I cannot believe the they won’t grab three kids if the right ones want to be Sooners.
*Michael Thompson – 6-4, 290, 5.0 (St. Louis)
Four stars. Everyone is flocking to St. Louis for talent on DL.
*Trevor Trout – 6-4, 300, 5.0 (St. Louis)
Four stars. A top 10 DT nationally by every recruiting service. OU has made St.Louis a huge target, and Trout is the area's big fish (to use an awful pun). OU is in his top 10 right now. It’s going to go the distance for Trout late into recruiting with official visits.
*Bobby Brown – 6-5, 275, 4.8 (Dallas)
Four stars. If Brown puts all the physical tools together, then he is a Gerald McCoy-type talent who can easily play at 295 pounds with agility. OU has been involved and should fight for an official visit from Brown.
*Emmitt Gooden – 6-4, 300, 4.9 (JUCO)
Recent offer who easily fits in both a 3-4 or 4-3 defense. Offering a JUCO DL is very interesting considering the number of quality of prep linemen looking at the Sooners already.
One of these three open spots was going to Ron Tatum. The spots now all have a very strong Kansas City/Missouri feel to them. OU needs at least one true 4-3 defensive end no matter what.
*Daniel Carson – 6-5, 270, 4.8 (Missouri)
Three stars. Carson has more than 20 offers, so that ranking won’t stay so low. His film is just great – physical and fast with a huge frame to add weight. Perhaps the best replacement for Tatum’s skill set.
*Jalen Redmond – 6-3, 230, 4.6 (OKC)
Three stars. Just like Carson, his offer list blew up this spring. Redmond showed out on the camp circuit. Somewhat similar to 2017 Sooner Signee Isaiah Thomas, in that Redmond is more of a hoops guy learning football right now. The elite physical skills are all there.
*Miles Emery – 6-5, 235, 4.65 (Kansas)
Three stars. Another prospect who won’t stay at three stars long with a huge offer list. He boasts a long frame with an excellent first step to get to the QB.
*Ronnie Perkins – 6-5, 250, 4.7 (St. Louis)
Four stars. Arguably OU’s top target at DE right now. The Sooners have made him a huge focus, and rumors have OU out in front. Perkins might be the guy to bring a crew of St. Louis talent with him to Norman.
*Azeez Ojulari – 6-3, 222, 4.6 (Atlanta)
Three stars. To repeat, won’t be three-star long after his offer list recently blew up. Attacks the QB off the end.
*Quin Williams – 6-3, 242, 4.7 (Georgia)
Four stars. Another attacking OLB from Georgia. Could out grow the position and end up at DE every down.
OU needs a true WILL LB and a MIKE LB in this class. The LB position on campus is in the best shape in forever, and OU needs to keep that momentum going. More names will be found added to this list, but it’s a terrible year for LBs in Texas and Oklahoma.
*Alston Orji – 6-2, 215, 4.65 (Texas)
Four stars. Orji has already visited OU twice. He’s a top 150/top 200 player right now. It’s easy to see him playing WILL LB in a 4-3 scheme at 225-230 pounds.
*Merlin Robertson – 6-3, 220, 4.6 (California)
Four stars. A ridiculous year for LBs out West. USC has already grabbed three of them and will likely add Solomon Tuliaupupu any day now. Can OU stay involved with Robertson to get him to Norman for a visit? He’s an every-down LB.
*Ayodele Adeoye – 6-2, 220, 4.7 (St. Louis)
Four stars. Probably the best MIKE LB on OU’s board right now. He’s an excellent run stopper with good coverage skills. I really wasn’t kidding about OU attacking St.Louis area for defenders.
Rosendo Louis – 6-2, 230, 4.7 (Florida)
Three stars. Visited OU with his buddy Miguel Edwards. Very physical active MLB on film.
*DaShaun White – 6-0, 205, 4.6 (Texas)
Three stars. Great film showing coverage skills and pursuit sideline to sideline. Can his frame carry 230? In a true 4-3, OU can get away with lighter WILL/MIKE LBs than in a true 3-4 where they both need to be in that 235/245 range. With Kenneth Murray, Jon-Michael Terry, Levi Draper and possibly K'Jakyre Daley at ILB, OU does finally have some LB depth that would allow White time to redshirt and add weight.
*Michael Harris – 6-3, 210, 4.6 (Georgia)
Four stars. Great film. Maybe the best MIKE/WILL prospect for OU to play in the Big 12. Frame looks like it could easy carry 230 with his speed. Harris has coverage skills and is very physical. I hope OU can get involved in his recruiting.
There might be two spots open here. OU really needs to see how Jordon Austin is recovering from his knee injury, or this might jump to 3 spots. Lots of offers have been made by Kerry Cooks, with a flurry after spring ball and the announced transfers of P.J. Mbanasor and Antoine Stephens.
*Jalen Green – 6-2, 180, 4.4 (Houston)
Four stars. OU needs to play catch-up a little here, but Green is probably the top CB on the board for Cooks.
*Isaac Taylor Stuart – 6-2, 180. 4.4 (San Diego)
Four stars. If not Green, then Stuart is OU's number one CB target. San Diego has been kind to OU in the past, and California defenders have done very well at OU. Stuart could continue that trend.
*Starrland Baldwin – 6-0, 175, 4.4 (Houston)
Three stars. Baldwin dad a great spring camp circuit, and seems to have OU out in front. Excellent ball skills. Could verbal very soon and help in the Houston area.
*Mario Goodrich – 6-2, 180, 4.4 (Missouri)
Four stars. Another Missouri prospect OU is tracking.
*Noah Boykin – 6-2, 170, 4.4 (D.C. Area)
Three stars. The next Parnell Motley? Boykin knows both Abdul Adams and Motley, and he seems very interested in OU. A similar athlete to Motley.
Patrick Fields owns one spot at this position, but there could be two more.
*Leon O’Neal – 6-2, 190, 4.5 (Houston area)
Four stars. If you were looking for that big, physical safety to replace Josh Proctor, O’Neal might be my first choice. OU is in a fight with Texas and LSU, which is going all out in Texas for players this recruiting season. Starrland Baldwin could help OU here if he verbals.
*Julius Irvin – 6-2, 190, 4.5 (L.A. area)
Three stars. Irvin won’t remain at three stars long based on his offers and film. Looks like exactly what OU needs at safety. California defensive pipeline might be adding another part.
*DeMarvion Overshown – 6-4, 200, 4.5 (Texas)
Three stars. Huge and a big hitter at safety. Does he outgrow the position and end up at OLB? OU will continue to track him and has him offered. Could be an intriguing name at WILL LB down the road as well.
A wild-ass guess with about 23 or 24 spots thought to be available.
QB (1): Adrian Martinez
RB (1): T.J. Pledger
WR (2): Brennan Eagles, Jaylen Waddle
TE (1): Mustapha Muhammed
OL (4): Brey Walker, Darrell Simpson, Anthony McKinney, Tank Jenkins
DT (2): Jordan Kelley, Trevor Trout
DE/OLB (4): Miles Emery, Jalen Redmond, Daniel Carson, Ronnie Perkins
ILBs (2): Alston Orjii, Ayodele Adeoye
CBs (3): Jordan Austin, Starrland Baldwin, Noah Boykin
Safety (3): Patrick Fields, Leon O’Neal, Miguel Edwards